June 21, 2011

Rote titillation....

The Tired Old Game of Shocking the Middle Class - Light On Dark Water:

The point has been made very often by now, but this is a particularly good and compact instance, from the unsigned "Notes & Comments" column in the May issue of The New Criterion:
Épater la bourgeois: shocking the middle class�has been a cherished goal of the avant garde�since the birth of the movement in the nineteenth century. The fact that the middle class long ago enlisted themselves as co-collaborators in this project of rote titillation transformed the avant garde into a reactionary force in everything but posture and rhetoric. The amazing thing has been the longevity of this new incarnation of Salon art: year after year, decade after decade, "artists" and their eager if jaded public rehearse the tired old pantomime: the party of the first part recycles some bit of Dada while the party of the second pretends to be shocked or at least interested.
Posted by John Weidner at June 21, 2011 9:03 AM
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